This holiday season, as we reflect on all that we have to be grateful for, all of us at Chimp Haven remain so thankful your support. In 2018, we welcomed an incredible 42 new chimpanzees to Chimp Haven, bringing the total number of chimps in our care to 268.
Nicole, who arrived this spring from a research facility in New Mexico, loves to climb up to the highest platforms in her structure and lay out on sunny days. Sometimes she’s so lost in her own world she doesn’t hear care staff calling her inside! And that’s just fine by us. Here, of course, it’s always her choice.
Lori also came to Chimp Haven from New Mexico this year, and she is thriving in her new group. She’s very popular among her fellow chimps, but she doesn’t seem to notice her popularity much (honestly, she’s more concerned with napping). She goes about her day, doing her own thing, unaware or unconcerned with her admirers!
They are just two of the 42 chimps who you helped bring home this year. It has been an absolute joy to watch them begin their retirement here at the sanctuary.
This year we also continued our sanctuary expansion effort, and I’m thrilled to share we’ve now raised nearly $14 million toward our $20 million capital campaign goal! Construction is now more than 65 percent complete, with the three new, multi-acre habitats, vet suites, and chimp bedrooms beginning to take shape.
In the spring, we were thrilled to welcome the incomparable Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, to Chimp Haven for the first time. As you can imagine, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for chimps and staff alike. If you missed the video recap of her visit, including her thoughts on the sanctuary, you can watch it here.
And, this fall, following the American debut of the BBC documentary “Sue Perkins and the Chimp Sanctuary,” we were very excited to continue to share the Chimp Haven story with millions of viewers across the country on the TODAY Show. The TODAY Show’s Dylan Dreyer visited the sanctuary and met a few of our “golden oldies.” If you haven’t seen the segment, you can watch it online here.
It has been an outstanding year at Chimp Haven, and I am truly proud to work alongside our dedicated staff, Board of Directors, and supporters to give our chimps the retirement they deserve. We can’t wait for the day when all chimps who remain in research facilities get to experience what the Chimp Life is all about. With your continued friendship and partnership, we know we’ll make it happen.
Rana Smith, President & CEO